By Melanie Lekocevic
Capital Region Independent Media
GREENVILLE — Area middle school students put their scientific chops on display in the annual Science Olympiad competition.
District officials honored the students with certificates at the March 14 meeting of the Greenville Board of Education.
“We competed this year in the fourth regional Olympiad competition that we have been in,” seventh-grade science teacher Jim Hutchins said. “Science Olympiads are like academic science track meets, consisting of a series of different team events and a variety of science and engineering topics.”
The middle schoolers competed in the regional competition Feb. 12.
“Generally, a one- or two-person team competes in a specific event,” he added. “Events are classified as study, build or lab.”
Events fall into one of five categories — Life, Personal and Social Science; Earth and Space Science; Physical Science and Chemistry; Technology and Engineering; and Inquiry and Nature of Science.
Individual events include topics as diverse as anatomy and physiology, ornithology, meteorology, rocks and minerals, food science, crime busters, mousetrap vehicle, code busters, write it do it, and ping-pong parachute, among others.
“For ‘study’ events, team members study a specific topic and then take a test. For ‘build’ events, team members must design and build a structure or machine to perform a specific action. For ‘lab’ events, team members must choose lab equipment and conduct an experiment,” Hutchins explained.
Several Greenville teams placed in the top four in their individual categories, including a first-place win in the “dynamic planet” event.
Second-place finishes went to the teams in the ‘code busters,’ ‘solar system’ and ‘disease detectives’ events. The ‘anatomy and physiology’ and ‘ornithology’ teams took third and the ‘crime busters’ team took fourth place.
“I am really pleased at how we did this year,” Hutchins said. “I want to give a special thanks to all the volunteer coaches and staff, parents, and my daughter. It’s only because of their hard work that we are able to offer all of these opportunities to our middle school teams.”
Individual students were presented with certificates honoring their work in the Science Olympiad competition.
The goal of the competition each year is to increase interest and achievement in STEM education among middle and high schoolers, raise awareness of the fields, and encourage and support participants and educators, according to New York State Science Olympiad, Inc.
This year marked the Olympiad’s return to in-person tournaments after the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the group.